Eric W. Weisstein


Eric W. Weisstein

Eric W. Weisstein (born March 18, 1969, in Bloomington, Indiana) is an encyclopedist who created and maintains "MathWorld" and "Eric Weisstein's World of Science" ("ScienceWorld"). He currently works for Wolfram Research, Inc.

Education

Weisstein holds a Ph.D. in planetary astronomy which he obtained from the California Institute of Technology's (Caltech) Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences in 1996 as well as an M.S. in planetary astronomy in 1993 also from Caltech. Weisstein graduated Cum Laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in physics and a minor in astronomy in 1990. During his summers away from Cornell, Weisstein participated in research at the Arecibo Observatory, a radio telescope facility in Puerto Rico operated by Cornell. As a graduate student, Weisstein also participated in research at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. During his time at Goddard, Weisstein participated in the development of hurricane visualization software. In 1996 Weisstein published his doctoral thesis titled " [http://www.ericweisstein.com/research/thesis/ Millimeter/Submillimeter Fourier Transform Spectroscopy of Jovian Planet Atmospheres] " which was completed under faculty advisor [http://www.gps.caltech.edu/faculty/muhleman/muhleman.html Dewey Muhleman] and in association with Eugene Serabyn, who is now a member of the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Career

Academic research

Upon completion of his doctorate, Weisstein became a research scientist at Caltech in January 1996 and continued work in the field of submillimeter spectroscopy, which is an important analysis technique in astronomy. He collaborated again with Eugene Serabyn and published several papers. Six months later, Weisstein moved to the University of Virginia's Department of Astronomy in Charlottesville, VA. He remained at the University of Virginia for almost three years to continue his work in submillimeter spectroscopy.

MathWorld, ScienceWorld and Wolfram Research

In 1995, Weisstein converted a Microsoft Word document of over 200 pages to hypertext format and uploaded it to his webspace at Caltech under the title "Eric's Treasure Trove of Sciences". This document contained a compendium of information that Weisstein had obtained throughout his studies. As Weisstein transferred to the University of Virginia to continue his work in astronomy, he continued to refine his fledgling encyclopedia. In November 1998, Weisstein made a deal with the CRC Press to publish his encyclopedia in book format titled, the "CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics". One year later, in 1999, Weisstein accepted the position of encyclopedist at Wolfram Research, Inc. (WRI).

"MathWorld" was ready to be unveiled in December 1999. There are more than 11,000 entries in "MathWorld". These entries encompass a variety of disciplines including algebra, geometry, calculus, discrete mathematics, topology, number theory, statistics, and the history of mathematics.

"MathWorld" became involved in a legal dispute with the CRC Press in March 2000. The CRC Press claimed "MathWorld" violated the copyright on the "CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics". During the dispute a court order shut down "MathWorld" for over a year from October 23, 2000, to November 6, 2001. Wolfram Research, Stephen Wolfram, and Eric Weisstein settled with the CRC Press for an undisclosed financial award and several benefits. Among these benefits are the inclusion of a copyright notice of the CRC Press at the bottom of all webpages in "MathWorld" and legal rights to reproduce "MathWorld" in book format again.

"ScienceWorld", or "Eric Weisstein's World of Science" as it may be known, was unveiled to the general public in January 2002. "ScienceWorld" includes more than 1,000 entries in many fields of science including: astronomy, chemistry, physics and biographies of scientists.

Other encyclopedias

Eric Weisstein also has several other encyclopedias under development. Reportedly among these are encyclopedias on scientific books, the game of life in cellular automata theory, music and rocketry.

External links and references

Weisstein's encyclopedias

:Complete::* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com "MathWorld"] ::* [http://scienceworld.wolfram.com "ScienceWorld"]

:Under development::* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/books/ Scientific Books] ::* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/life/ Game of Life in Cellular Automata Theory] ::* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/music/ Music] ::* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/rockets/ Rocketry]

References

* [http://www.ericweisstein.com Eric Weisstein's Personal Homepage]
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/about/author.html Eric Weisstein's Biography at "MathWorld"]
* [http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/info/faq.html The FAQ at "ScienceWorld"]
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/about/faq.html The FAQ at "MathWorld"]
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/docs/faq.html FAQ on the CRC Press Lawsuit against "MathWorld"]
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/docs/updates.html Update on the CRC Press Lawsuit against "MathWorld"]
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/about/erics_commentary.html Weisstein's Commentary on the CRC Press Lawsuit against "MathWorld"]
* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/info/cv.html Eric Weisstein's Curriculum Vitae]
* [http://www.ericweisstein.com/research/thesis/ Eric Weisstein's Doctoral Thesis]


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